Venkatesh who was looking out for supernatural suspense thriller scripts found a great story in Kannada blockbuster 'Aaptarakshaka' and remade it in Telugu as 'Nagavalli'. A ditto of its original, Nagavalli keeps the audience at the edge of their seats with nerve breaking tension all through the movie. The film is also a sequel to Superstar Rajinikanth's 'Chandramukhi' which was a phenomena in South Indian cinema three years ago.
The story of Nagavalli begins where Chandramukhi ends. The potrait of Chandramukhi that is removed from the residence of 'Ganga' in Chandramukhi, in the course of time, changes hands and finally reaches the house of Sarath Babu as it is gifted in a dance competition to his daughter Gayatri(Kamilini Mukherjee). Immediately after winning that potrait as a prize, Gayatri's dancer husband Nivas, dies in an accident.Troubles begin in Sarath Babu's house after the potrait enters their mansion. He has two more daughters Geeta (Shraddha Das) and Gowri(Richa Gangopadhyay). Geeta who is a painter is hell bent on making another potrait of Chandramukhi and places the potrait in her room. Visitors to their bungalow complain of witnessing a huge snake, and a snake charmer (M S Narayana) who is called in to search for a it in their house, dies mysteriously. Worried Sarath Babu calls on Ramachandra Siddhanthi who resovled the issue of Chandramukhi a few years ago. The siddhanti who offers to help also suggests the to approach Dr Vijay a psychiatrist to solve the mystery. Vijay then enters the house trying to find out which person has Chandramukhi posessed in that house. The story takes an interesting twist at the interval bang as a startling fact is revealed to Vijay while researching on Chandramukhi potrait.The rest of the story is about whether Vijay will find out whom Chandramukhi posessed and what is the connection between Nagavalli and Chandramukhi.
Venky is at his best in his charecter as an inquisitive doctor in the first half of the movie. In the second half, he is seen as King Nagabhairava in which Venkatesh didn't act with ease. He is seen trying to immitate Superstar Rajnikanth from 'Chandramukhi' in a few scenes. Venkatesh's histrionics and body language were not in tandem with the charecter like Nagabhairava which needed much more seriousness and charm. The over the top Kingly attires did no good to his uneasy performance in the second half either. However, he makes up for it through his applaudable stint as an 'Aghora' which comes as a surprise. Anushka Shetty stole the show with her eyes which have the power to emote without dialogues.Audience get the jahalaks from her Arundhati in a few frames. Shraddha Das and Richa Gangopadhyay too impress with their hidden talent which the director has thoroughly exploited.Bramhanandam was seen desperately trying to ape Vadivelu from Chandramukhi and fails miserably. There is not even a single comedy scene which makes the audience laugh. His mannersims that were to depict 'fear' of spirit Nagavalli aka Chandramukhi in the house don't evoke any response and makes us smirk and fuss. Poonam Kaur had very little to do in the movie and Dharmavarapu did justice to his role as the brother in law of Sarath Babu.
Nagavalli is not as entertaining as Chandramukhi is. The comedy scenes in this movie are boring and make audience yawn. The song 'Abhimanulu lenide Herolu leru le' makes us tap our foots to the fast beats. The remix of 'Varaaye' rewinds you to Chandramukhi and the background score gives the audience goosebumps. Music director Guru Kiran did a good task by maintaining a fine balance between the conservative Carnatic music and folklore tunes. The costumes in this movie are awful and makes us cringe. For instance, in this story that dates back to hundred years, Anushka a tamil dancer is seen wearing a Salwar Kameez which is a blatant blunder. The director should have hired actresses who are seasoned in Bharatanatyam for this flick as Kamilini Mukherjee and Anushka danced as if they just finished a crash course in Bharatanatyam for this movie. The visual affects look so fake and take away the intensity of the scenes. The make up is well done, locations could have been better.
Aura Aura Nagavalli is no match to Laka Laka Laka Laka Chandramukhi, But if you are a fan of Venkatesh and wish to see a beautiful Anushka potrayed more splendidly than ever, don't miss this movie.
Released on: 16th Dec, 2010